If you have dealt with the police before, you might be familiar with the long, drawn-out process of waiting while an officer detains you. You might have to wait for them to verify your identification. Perhaps they are looking at your past criminal record with the computer in their police car. Maybe they are simply trying to decide how to handle your unique situation. What happens if a police officer fails to even inform you why you are being detained? How long can a police officer keep you waiting? Are you technically free to leave if you are not being officially charged with a crime?
These are all important questions, and they are probably best left answered by a legal professional. Enlist the help of a qualified, experienced criminal defense lawyer, and you can gain a firm understanding of your rights while being detained by the police. Teaming up with a legal expert is an especially smart move if you have been accused of a crime, such as resisting arrest or fleeing from a police officer. With the help of a skilled defense attorney in Mississippi, you can approach this situation with a solid defense.
You Have the Right to Ask if You are Free to Leave
In many cases, police officers might not be allowed to detain you, but they do so anyway. They often ask you to stay under their supervision, but you might not be technically forced to remain there in certain situations. A police officer might say something like “I’m gonna need you to stick around for a little bit,” or “Would you mind waiting here for a few minutes?” These might sound like orders, but they are often mere requests.
You have the right to ask whether you are free to leave, especially if you have not even been charged with a crime. The officer is legally required to answer truthfully, and if they have no reason to detain you, they must inform you that you are indeed free to leave. If they say you are free to leave, then you have every right to walk or drive away in a calm manner. Legally, a police officer can detain you without arresting you or charging you with a crime.
However, they may face consequences if they detain you for long periods of time without ever providing a reason. Do not fight or argue with the officer in this situation. Simply remain silent, take note of as many details as you can, and ask the police officer for their name and badge number. If a police officer tells you that you are under arrest, you have the right to ask why.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you are dealing with a criminal charge, you need to enlist the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Police officers in Mississippi often overstep their bounds, and citizens have the right to fight back in a court of law. If you feel that you were unlawfully detained or arrested, reach out to Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. We have a wealth of experience with criminal defense law, and we will fight for justice to be properly served.